Māori and Pacific mothers and babies' care should have top health research priority

By Kelvin McDonald
Photo / File

Māori and Pacific mothers and babies' care should be top health research priorities, a new University of Auckland study says.

“The top 20 priorities emerging from this study all related directly to Māori and Pacific health,” lead researcher Associate Professor Katie Groom said in a statement Saturday.

“An example of future research will be to explore how Māori models of pregnancy care support better health for mothers and babies.

“At the moment, we have a cookie-cutter model of pregnancy care, where everyone gets a similar approach. But, for Māori, care that includes their whanau and iwi may well deliver better pregnancy outcomes.”

To achieve better health for Māori mothers and babies, Associate Professor Groom said we also need research to understand the enablers and barriers to training Māori doctors and midwives, and whether current training models work for Māori.

“Depending on where you live, what ethnic group you identify with, what socioeconomic group you belong to, you don't have the same chance of a good pregnancy outcome,” she said.

The University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute surveyed clinicians, patients, healthcare providers and fellow researchers across Aotearoa about gaps in current knowledge in the area of pregnancy and newborn care.